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Back pain is one of the most common reasons individuals call in sick to work. And poor posture is a major contributing factor when it comes to back and neck pain.

Maybe you’re doing it right now. You’re hunching forward, craning your neck toward your computer screen. Or perhaps you’re bending your neck down to view your phone screen.

For every inch your head moves forward, you place an additional 10 pounds of stress is placed on your neck. Sitting for long durations also contributes to tight muscles and imbalances - causing low back pain.

And perhaps you know you have bad posture. But you are unsure how to fix it.

Fortunately, we have the top 4 exercises to fix your bad posture. Perform the following exercises on a daily basis, and you’ll notice vast changes in your pain levels and posture.


1. Shoulder Blade Pinch

This exercise targets your rhomboids and mid-trapezius muscles. These muscles work to hold your shoulder blades back and down. In turn, they keep your shoulders and chest open - and they prevent hunching or caving inward of the shoulders.

How To:

● Stand or sit up tall.
● Pinch your shoulder blades down and in. Do not shrug your shoulders.
● Hold for 5-10 seconds.
● Perform 10-12 repetitions for 2-3 sets.
● Once this becomes easy, you can transition into a rowing exercise using a resistance band. To do this, sit in a chair and hold the end of a band in each hand. Bend your elbows to 90-degrees. Pull back on the band, pinching your shoulder blades down and in.

2. Chin Tuck

This exercise works the deep neck flexors. The deep neck flexors help realign the neck.

How To:

● Lie face up on a comfortable surface, such as a bed or yoga mat.
● You may choose to roll a towel and place it under your neck for comfort.
● Without lifting your head off the bed, bring your chin toward your chest. It will resemble a goofy double-chin face that you likely made when you were a child.
● Hold this position for 5-10 seconds.
● Repeat for 10-12 repetitions and 2-3 sets.

3. Child’s Pose

Child’s Pose is a stretch for not just your low back, but also for your lower body - including your hips and thighs. This stretch can help counteract long hours of sitting.

How To:

● Begin on all-fours.
● Slowly bring your buttocks back toward your heels. Keep your arms extends and your hands planted in front of you.
● You should feel a gentle stretch down your back. If it causes pain, don’t go as far.
● Hold for about 20-30 seconds. You can repeat this stretch 2-3 times a day.

4. Forward Fold

The forward fold is a way to self-traction your spine. This means it helps to create space between each vertebra (the bones of your spine). Consequently, it can relieve pressure on the spine.

How To:

● Stand tall.
● Take a deep breathe and allow your upper body to drop down.
● You can let your arms hang, or you can hold your opposite elbow with your opposite hand.
● If it feels good, you can also gently swing your body from side-to-side.
● Hold this position for 20-30 seconds. Similar to the child’s pose exercise, you can perform this 2-3 times every day.

Avoid back pain before it happens by improving your posture and strengthening your core muscles. Those are two of the best things you can do to alleviate back pain.


Take care of your body - you only get the one!
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Straight teeth and a healthy smile don’t happen without hard work. By getting dental braces, you take a huge step towards better oral health. However, it is best to expect that they may come with some challenges, especially when eating.

When you have braces, there are certain foods which can make your teeth tough to clean and cause damage. Let’s face it, you didn’t spend your hard-earned cash just to ruin your braces.

To ensure that your investment doesn’t go to waste, here’s your guide as to what foods you can eat and what you should avoid.


Foods to Eat

The foods you can eat with braces are usually those that don’t require extreme chewing and aren’t high in sugar.

● Breakfast – bacon, eggs, yogurt, wheat toast, or oatmeal
● Lunch – banana, salad without nuts, or a simple sandwich
● Dinner – any vegetables so long as they’re cooked to a soft texture, lean protein like fish or chicken

The foods mentioned above encourage less wear and tear on your braces. But, you don’t have to be sad about not being able to eat the foods you love. You can still enjoy them by cooking them in the right way. For instance, if you love ribs and uncooked carrots, try cutting the meat off the bone and cook the carrots instead.

Post-Adjustment Foods

As the dental braces start to change the position of your teeth, the dentist will adjust them periodically to continue with the alignment process. After every appointment for adjustment, your teeth may feel a bit sensitive and sore to particular foods for a few days.

During the post-adjustment period, it’s best that you eat foods that are soft and need less chewing like:

● Cottage cheese
● Ice cream
● Mashed potatoes
● Pancakes
● Pasta or rice
● Peas
● Pudding
● Soup

Thankfully, many superfoods, such as acai berries and avocados, have a soft texture so you can still maintain a healthy diet.

Foods to Avoid

Once you wear dental braces, you should aim to eat healthily and avoid excessive snacking. Some foods which are too hard may cause damage to your braces by causing wires to break and tearing the brackets off your teeth. Avoid foods that are hard and are likely to get stuck between your teeth such as:

● Corn on the cob
● Whole apples
● Hard candy
● Meat on the bone
● Chewy candy, gum, or taffy
● Raw vegetables like carrots, broccoli, cauliflower
● Any kind of nuts
● Popcorn

Food stuck in your teeth makes it harder for you to clean your mouth properly, and as a result, causes the breeding of bacteria. If you’re unsure as to what foods can damage your braces, consult your dentist first for advice.

Read more: 7 Best Foods to Lose Weight Fast

Caring for Braces

Dental braces need special care. Consider the following care tips to ensure the success of your dental treatment.

1. Brush and floss

When wearing braces, food may get trapped between the teeth and braces. If you don’t remove them regularly, they can cause cavities and stain your teeth.

2. Use fork and knife

Biting your food can cause it to get stuck in your braces. Every time you eat, use a fork and knife to eat foods, even burgers, and pizza. Break your food down into bite-size pieces to make it easier for your teeth to chew and avoid damaging your braces.

3. Visit your dentist

Routine dental cleaning and check-ups are vital when you’re wearing braces. This helps your dentist ensure that your teeth stay healthy during the treatment.

4. Be mindful

Common causes of broken and loose brackets are unconscious habits such as chewing on pens and fingernail biting. Try to stop your bad dental habits by being more aware of them.

Practice Discipline and Good Hygiene

Regardless of whatever food you eat, what’s important is you keep the crevices between your teeth and around the braces clean. This means you have to be diligent with brushing and flossing after meals to prevent plaque and decay. This doesn’t only cause damage to your teeth and gums but also causes discoloration that can last a lifetime.

If you want to get the best results from your dental braces, it’s crucial that you follow your dentist’s advice about what foods are safe for your braces. Keep in mind that braces only become effective when you properly care for them and eat the right foods.

AUTHOR BIO

Dr. Zul Paliwalla is the General and Cosmetic British Dentist at NOA Dental Clinic, specializing in smile-related concerns. With over 33 years of experience in the UK, Dr. Zul has successfully worked on and improved many internationally recognized smiles. He is a certified Invisalign® GOLD provider as well and has brought his elite expertise to Dubai not only to enjoy the sun, sea but also to offer his brand of personalized smile makeovers.
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The human microbiome is incredibly complex, considering the fact that it comprises of hundreds of different species of bacteria. On average, 300 to 500 diverse bacterial species reside inside the human digestive tract. While some are detrimental for health, others play a supportive role. All in all, these microorganisms, when present in the right balance, retain the health of the gut.

It is to be noted that gut health is directly linked with improved immunity, mental health, endocrine health, skin health and more. Therefore, it becomes crucial to pay attention to your gut health and ensure that it is in an optimal condition. For this, you need to be vigilant about the condition of your gut and the indications it subtly gives. Here are a few symptoms that your gut needs holistic healing.



Digestive issues


If you experience repeated issues with your digestive health, it probably means that your gut needs a health check. Bloating, indigestion, heartburn and frequent bouts of constipation and diarrhea are the signs to watch out for. Also, feeling heavy after meals is a sign that your microbiome is out of balance and needs to be restored sooner rather than later.


Constant fatigue and sleep disturbances


An unhealthy gut can be a cause of insomnia and sleep disturbances. This can lead to a feeling of constant fatigue, irrespective of the fact that you take a rest during the day. Surprisingly, the gut is responsible for the synthesis of serotonin, the hormone that regulates sleep and moods. Any issues here, thus, manifest as lack of good sleep, irritability, and fatigue.


Lethargy


Always feeling lethargic may not be because of mental conditions but can also point out to the fact that your gut needs attention. This usually happens when you do not feel fresh in the morning and the energy levels keep ebbing during the day, even if you have taken the normal amount of sleep during the night.


Unexplained weight fluctuations


Another sign that you should be vigilant about is an unexplained weight fluctuation, which happens without any changes in your diet and lifestyle. An imbalance in the microbiome deprives the body of its ability to regulate blood sugar, absorb nutrients from food sources and store fat properly. This may lead to your weight spiking up or going down without any reason and indicates that your gut needs healing.


Skin problems


The relationship between the gut microbiome and skin health seems to be far-fetched but these are closely linked to each other. Skin conditions such as eczema and allergies can be a sign of a damaged gut. Inflammation within the intestine can manifest itself as skin issues and is a warning sign that you need a holistic healing plan to restore the health of your microbiome.


Poor immunity


Several research studies indicate that there is a close relationship between gut health and the immune system. People with compromised microbiome are more susceptible to falling prey to common problems as well as serious diseases. This happens because an unhealthy gut aggravates systemic inflammation, which has a negative impact on the immune function. Besides decreasing immunity, this can also result in autoimmune diseases.


Food Intolerances


Another sign that your gut needs holistic healing is intolerances towards certain types of foods. Typically, food intolerance is manifested as difficulty in digesting a specific food. It is attributed to the presence of poor quality bacteria in the gut and comes across as digestive issues on consuming the foods that you are intolerant towards. The condition varies from food allergy as it is caused by a reaction to food items.

Now that you know all about the signs that indicate poor gut health, you can be more watchful about identifying and addressing them. Some simple dietary modifications and lifestyle changes can go a long way in restoring the balance of your microbiome and take it on the way to good health. Here are a few measures that you can take as a part of a holistic healing strategy:

● Eat more raw fruits and veggies and cut down on processed foods and refined carbs and sugars.
● Consume a wholesome breakfast and have a hearty lunch, while keeping dinner the lightest.
● Sip on herbal teas made with digestion-friendly herbs such as ginger, dandelion, and fennel.
● Increase your fiber intake to speed up the digestive function and elimination of toxins from your body.
● Load up on probiotic foods and supplements as they improve the quality of bacteria that form your microbiome.

These small changes can do a lot for your gut and keep it in the best health. Amazingly, a healthier gut means a healthier you!
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Living a healthy, active lifestyle offers lots of benefits despite how busy your daily schedules may be. Squeezing a bit of “me time” into your routine will do so much to help you relax and de-stress – things that are often taken for granted and overlooked. And one of the best ways to feel well-rested is through regular massage therapy.

It is crucial for you to make time for your mind and body to unwind and rejuvenate. This allows your body to heal itself naturally and therefore prepare you to face whatever challenge you can encounter throughout the day. Letting your mind and body rest even for several minutes can do wonders so you can live each day well-prepared and happily.

Massage is a traditional relaxation method that is popular among people of all ages. Whether you are a middle-aged person with a dynamic family life, a young professional with a fully-packed lifestyle, a pregnant woman or an athlete, receiving a monthly holistic massage is highly beneficial. But remember that you can only get the most out of it if you receive it from someone who underwent proper training in massage therapy.


Read further to learn how a massage can improve your overall health and wellbeing.

5 Benefits of Regular Massage Therapy 

1. Stress relief

Many of the leading causes of death are related to stress. So finding an effective way to manage your stress is crucial – one of which is through massage therapy.

Stress is often a result of being overwhelmed with obligations at home and in the office. A regular massage will force you to take a break from these stressors. Imagine sitting or lying down and receiving gentle touches and stretching for at least an hour. This will help calm your mind and body, bringing you into the rest mode and out of the fight-or-flight response.

2. Prevention of migraine-induced headaches

Massage is known to prevent headaches, primarily the migraine-induced ones. A migraine attack is usually triggered by an extreme lack of sleep and excessive stress.

A study published by the Annals of Behavioral Medicine revealed that individuals who received regular massage slept better and had fewer incidences of migraine headaches as compared to those who haven’t received massage therapy. Furthermore, the effects of the massage lasted for about three weeks. Thus, health care experts suggest people suffering from migraine headaches receive a monthly massage session to reduce migraine frequency.

3. Alleviation of back problems

People go for a massage primarily because they are suffering from back-related problems. Common complaints include lower back pain and pain caused by accidents. You may think that seeking the service of someone who can perform deep tissue massage to relieve back pain is a baseless claim, but there are several studies that can back this up.

A study published by the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that people suffering from back pain can greatly benefit from massage. Also, a full body massage is more effective at alleviating back pain as opposed to other types of therapy like spinal manipulation and acupuncture.

4. Hastening of post-surgery rehab

The recovery period of most surgical operations is crucial to making sure that the body regains control over its functions and fully regenerates after the procedure. Regular massage therapy can help the body to recover fast by improving joint movement, muscle use, and blood circulation. Moreover, this relaxation method can reduce post-surgery swelling and boost the growth of tissues.

5. Strengthening of the immune system

If you think that your immune system could not benefit from a regular massage, a study published by the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2010 says otherwise. People who receive massage on a regular basis were healthier and had better counts of cells that protect the body from several diseases. Also, it can help HIV patients in enhancing their immune systems.

The Effect of Regular Massage Therapy on Specific Diseases Fibromyalgia

Massage can relieve the symptoms of fibromyalgia, such as muscle pain, fatigue, and muscle tenderness. A specialized massage session can also help reduce muscle spasm and the overall discomfort associated with this illness.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

This is a condition affecting the wrists, hands, and the forearm wherein the median nerve becomes stuck in the wrist. When left unaddressed, it can affect one’s grip and be painful. Through massage, symptoms like burning sensations and pain in the affected area can be relieved. Also, this relaxation method can improve a patient’s gripping ability.

Furthermore, other medical conditions can be alleviated or prevented by receiving a monthly massage session. These include cystic fibrosis, autoimmune disorders, multiple sclerosis, premenstrual syndrome, and anemia. This is because massage reduces the level of stress hormone in the body as well as maintaining the normal blood sugar levels.

Monthly massage therapy is an excellent way to manage stress and pain and to improve your overall health and well-being. All it takes is at least 60 minutes and your mind and body will be rested and refreshed. So book for a monthly massage now!

AUTHOR BIO

Marc Innes is the Owner and Principal of the School of Natural Therapies, a training school for Massage & Holistic Therapies located in London. Marc began his career in the NHS, working in a number of managerial and training roles within the Ambulance Service in London. He spent much of that time educating and coaching medical staff. Over time, he developed an interest in all things complimentary to Allopathic Medicine, in particular, Reiki Healing and EFT, which culminated in running successful teaching and ‘energy healing’ practice. Marc is passionate about the message and complementary therapy industry.

References:

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/leading-causes-of-death.htm https://academic.oup.com/abm/article-abstract/32/1/50/4631717?redirectedFrom=fulltext 

https://annals.org/aim/article-abstract/716463/review-evidence-effectiveness-safety-cost-acupuncture-massage-therapy-spinal-manipulation?searchresult=1 

https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/acm.2000.6.405
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Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), herbal medicine, and acupuncture treatment are often times viewed in Western culture as alternative treatment methods that are not as efficient or powerful as typical drug-related treatment plans in the United States.

Herbal medicine stems from a branch of TCM that utilizes the natural healing powers of plant-based ingredients to bring about better health. Concoctions created using plants, herbs, roots, bark, flowers, and more can induce various healing properties without the potentially harmful side effects typically seen from drug therapy.

TCM focuses on re-stabilizing our body’s natural energy system called “qi” (pronounced “chee) in order to drive good energy back into your meridians (channels of flow for qi) and reduce harmful obstruction of these channels.

Conditions such as musculoskeletal pain, digestive disorders, allergies, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Insomnia, and more are very common reasons why people supplement their treatment plans with herbal medicine.

Herbal medicine, however, can also be used to simply augment one’s health as opposed to treating a particular condition or disorder.

Below are 6 ways that herbal medicine can help you live a healthier life.


1) Improve Digestion


One of the most common reasons why herbal medicine is used is to improve digestion and reduce the uncomfortable effects of heartburn, indigestion, and improper bowel movement.

Rather than use laxatives to stimulate the peristalsis of your body, herbs such as Senna Alexandria, Rhamnuspurshiana, and Aloe vera can induce the same wavelike smooth muscle contraction in your stomach to result in proper digestion and movement of your bowels
[https://www.motherearthliving.com/health-and-wellness/digestive-herbs-zm0z12amzdeb].

2) Improve Sleep

It’s no secret that getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most important factors in determining your health. Sleep not only helps regain proper brain function, but it also induces the rest and recovery throughout your body (including soft tissue repair) that is necessary to live a high quality of life.

If you’re experiencing difficulty sleeping or simply feel like the quality of sleep you are getting is not adequate enough for you, try exploring herbal remedies such as Valerian root or Passionflower, both of which have been proven to promote healthier sleep and faster recovery. 
[https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/sleep-aids#section5]

3) Reduce Stress

Do you find yourself anxious and wound up all day? Is your work life balance causing you more stress than you realize?

Chronic stress over an extended period of time has been shown to result in many lasting and damaging effects such as weight gain, cardiovascular damage, and impairment of neurological pathways [https://www.stress.org/stress-and-heart-disease].

Thankfully, there’s been several studies that have proved the efficacy of herbal medicine on reducing stress [https://foodrevolution.org/blog/herbs-reduce-stress/] including the 3 herbs and effects below:

1) Ashwagandha root – shown to ride stress levels by 44% and cortisol levels by 28% [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23439798]

2) Lemon balm – a mint family balm that reduces anxiety and induces mood-boosting effects [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15272110]

3) Curcumin – proven to be helpful in reversing harmful brain changes induced by stress [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27043120]

4) Improve Blood Circulation and Flow

Healthy circulation and flow of your blood through arteries, veins, and capillaries are essential to get fresh oxygen throughout your organs. This circulation walks hand in hand with your body’s natural healing power to focus hormones and biochemicals into areas of need.

Without proper circulation, a myriad of issues arises such as fatigue, liver failure, kidney failure, nerve damage, and more.

Thankfully, for individuals who need some boost to their circulation, herbal medicine (many times used in conjunction with acupuncture treatment) is recommended. Herbs such as cayenne, ginkgo, olive leaf extract, and bilberry 
[https://www.botanicchoice.com/health-news/health-library/cholesterol-and-heart-articles/5-herbs-for-healthy-circulation/] are great for healthy flow and circulation.

5) Reduce oxidative stress

Antioxidants and oxidative stress are the results of reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulating in the body to cause a myriad of harmful effects on physiological functions. 
[https://www.healthline.com/health/oxidative-stress]. 

While there are harmless variations of ROS molecules such as free-radicals that have no chemical reactivity, the ROS that does play a role in cell signaling can be very dangerous to accumulate and allow to build up.

The harmful effects of ROS are further amplified in individuals that are experiencing rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, and other auto-immune diseases which makes herbal medicine an excellent option for these individuals. Studies have shown that herbs and spices used in TCM can support significant improvement in reducing the amount of oxidative stress in your body
[https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92763/#ch2_sec1].

Regardless of whether you are currently living with a chronic illness or simply are seeking ways to improve your immune system and health, herbal medicine is an incredibly beneficial, non-toxic, and easily attainable treatment method to help you reach your health goals.

If you want to explore any of the ways mentioned above that herbal medicine can improve your health, seek out a local acupuncturist or TCM practitioner to learn more!

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Fresh'n Lean: Dr. Pari Ghodsi, OB-GYN and women's health expert, shares important nutrition and exercise tips for maintaining a healthy weight while pregnant.


As an OB-GYN, I know one of the biggest concerns shared by many women at the beginning of a pregnancy is how to manage weight. Questions like, “How much weight should I gain?”, “How much should I be eating?”, “How will I gain the right amount for my baby, but not too much that I cannot lose it?” all pop into a woman’s mind after discovering she is pregnant.

The American Congress of OB-GYNs has laid out guidelines for how much weight a woman should gain during her pregnancy based on her starting BMI which we’ve copied below.

Starting BMI Weight Gain
  • Starting BMI: less than 18.5; 28-40 pounds
  • Starting BMI: 18.5-24.9; 25-35 pounds
  • Starting BMI: 25-29.9; 15-25 pounds
  • Starting BMI: 30 or greater; 11-20 pounds
There are many online BMI calculators but it’s wise to double check with your physician to figure out which range you fall in. Once you know the proper range of weight to gain for your body, you can apply and monitor it over the course of your pregnancy. As any woman who’s ever been pregnant before will tell you, it sounds simpler than it is.

The easiest way to gain the right amount of weight for your baby is to increase your calories by eating larger portions of nutritious foods. A typical woman with a normal BMI who does 30 minutes of daily exercise should eat around 1800 kcal in the first trimester, 2200 kcal in the second trimester, and 2400 kcal in the third trimester. It’s important that you eat a well-balanced diet containing all five food groups.

Here are some additional tips for staying fit and healthy during pregnancy.

1. Skip the sugary drinks.

  • Sugary drinks are low in nutrients and don’t offer any health benefits for you and your baby. Rather sodas and other high sugar beverages are a major culprit for weight gain.
  • Skip diet drinks as well as they contain caffeine (which should be limited during pregnancy) and sugar substitutes.
  • Proper hydration is important during pregnancy, so make sure you drink plenty of water.
  • Juices are great in limited amounts, but always make sure any juice you drink is pasteurized.
2. Avoid the “eating for two” mindset.
  • Don’t double your normal pre-pregnancy caloric intake.
  • It’s all too easy to adopt the “I’m pregnant and I can eat anything and everything” mentality, but consider this: after you’ve given birth, you’ll have to lose that baby weight.
3. Stay active.
  • Any woman experiencing a normal pregnancy needs to exercise. The American Congress of OB-GYNs recommends pregnant women should exercise thirty minutes or more most, if not every, day of the week, provided there are no medical complications and that the woman in question is not experiencing a high-risk pregnancy.
  • It’s important to note that pregnancy is not a time to push yourself or start a new fitness regimen. Instead, light, regular exercise will help you manage weight gain in a way that is healthy for both you and your baby.
  • In addition to helping you maintain a healthy weight, light exercise helps elevate mood and lower your risk of deep vein thrombosis (or blood clots) which can be caused by being more sedentary.
The best exercises during pregnancy include:
  • Walking and jogging
  • Swimming and water workout
  • Stationary cycling
  • Modified yoga and modified pilates (not hot yoga or hot pilates which can cause you to overheat)
You’ll want to avoid contact sports, extreme activities like skydiving, skiing, surfing, scuba diving, and horseback riding. As always, check with your doctor before starting on a new fitness regimen.

4. Eat little and often.
  • Eating several smaller meals throughout the day will keep out of control hunger pangs at bay, which can lead to overeating.
  • Smaller portions eaten more frequently may help reduce nausea and heartburn as well.
5. Eat your largest meal at lunchtime.

Eating your biggest meal for lunch allows you the chance to burn off calories ensuring you don’t pack on unnecessary pounds.

6. Pile your plate with loads of fruit and veggies.


If you tuck into tons of fruit and veg, you’ll know that every bite of the extra calories you’re taking in are completely nutritious! Look for nutrient-dense options like the foods listed below.
  • Apples
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Bananas
  • Bell peppers
  • Berries
  • Dates
  • Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower
  • Leafy greens like spinach and kale
  • Oranges
  • Mangoes
  • Squash
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Tomatoes
These are great guidelines for determining the right amount of weight gain for your body during pregnancy. That said, it won’t be easy, but that’s no reason to feel discouraged.

Pregnancy is a wonderful thing. Sure, your clothes won’t fit, you may experience swelling in your feet, ankles, or hands, and it may seem like your body will never return to its pre-pregnancy state, but the beauty of it is that all of these changes are a normal part of pregnancy. Embrace it! Ultimately, the important thing is to focus on maintaining a healthy diet and exercise regimen to ensure your baby is healthy as he or she can be.

One last thing to note. Obesity during pregnancy can lead to health problems down the line. For some women, it can be the starting point of obesity and related health issues. Obesity during pregnancy has also been linked to childhood obesity.

Staying fit is not just for you, it is for your child.
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Staying physically fit doesn’t have to mean spending hours in the gym. In a previous The Healthy Suggestions post, we pointed out that even doing a variety of household chores can help improve your fitness. However, another fantastic alternative is to head outdoors and exercise al fresco. In fact, plenty of scientific evidence points to how nature can be really good for your health and fitness journey. 

It Provides Stronger Workouts 

Studies have found that people exert more effort when exercising outdoors compared to working out in a gym. This is because we encounter a constantly changing and less structured environment when we are outside. In response, the body exerts more energy to adapt to the surroundings, like inclines, bumps, and obstacles — none of which happens on a treadmill. So if your goal is to reduce weight or be more physically fit, outdoor exercises will do more for you than just breaking a sweat.

It Improves Happiness 

The sight of greenery can have a significant impact on your mood. According to research detailed on Tree Hugger, the simple act of noticing nature has an effect on personal well-being. The study found that a subject group were much more happier when tasked to experience nature first hand than those who were asked to ‘human-built objects’. If acknowledging nature can already change your mood, what other benefits could it provide when you exercise while surrounding yourself with the outside world?

It Strengthens Your Immune System 

There is a decades-old Japanese practice called Shinrin-yoku or “forest bathing." This involves going for a walk in the forest and immersing yourself in its surroundings. While the activity is often done for the benefit of de-stressing, researchers have also found that regular forest bathing can actually improve your immune system. 

Trees shower themselves in an antifungal, antibacterial compound called phytoncides. When inhaled by humans, these compounds can produce a specialized white blood cell that can deal with tumorous growths in the body. Hence, exercising outdoors can not only help you shed weight and build muscle; it will also boost your immune system and keep you from getting sick. 

It Reduces Blood Pressure 

As mentioned above, many people go outdoors in order to reduce stress. A Japanese study published on Environmental Health Preventive Medicine notes that a walk in the forest doesn’t only decrease stress hormones by 15%, but it also serves other key benefits — such as lowering the average pulse by almost 4% and blood pressure by 2%. 

Stress and blood pressure are directly linked, since stress hormones cause the heart to beat faster and the blood vessels to narrow. The situation is worsened when you experience chronic stress. The outdoors can therefore provide therapy for those seeking to lower their stress levels while reaping the other benefits that exercise in general provides. 

It Encourages Social Interactions 

When empirical studies revealed that people tend to enjoy outdoor workouts more, psychologists suggested that the reason could be linked to the fact that the participants often exercised with others.

Social health forms part of a person’s wellbeing, and regardless of whether you are introverted or extroverted, social interactions can help reduce stress and increase happiness. There are plenty of group workouts to enjoy outdoors, including yoga sessions at the park, hiking with friends, and cycling the countryside with a partner. 

Making the Most Out of Your Outdoor Workouts 

Given all these reasons to head outdoors, it's important to note that there are some considerations to be made that you wouldn't normally worry about at the gym. 

For one, there are no drinking fountains or vending machines in most outdoor venues, so it's important to bring your own water bottle that you can easily carry around with you. Opt for a soft flask that can carry the water you need without being too heavy or bulky. 

Another consideration is the weather. It's best to come prepared for any weather conditions, and bringing gear that’s suitable for the day. This can help you avoid risking any heat-related illnesses in the summer or freezing outdoors on colder days. Water can definitely help with the former, as is checking forecasts like the National Weather Service, which provides a handy guide on which temperatures can be dangerous for outdoor activity. 

Meanwhile, cold weather will require you to dress in more layers and cover extremities like your head, hands, feet and ears in more frigid conditions. When it comes to outerwear, the lighter, the better. In this regard, Woman Within's packable puffer jacket is lightweight and helps to insulate the body. It can be worn on its own on mildly cold days or layered underneath thicker clothing on extremely cold days out. On more unpredictable days, it can be folded up and stored in a bag, so you can put it on in case of a sudden chill. 

Inspired to take your workout outdoors? Go and start plotting your preferred routes and spots for your exercise routines today.
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Stress is undeniably unavoidable. Even the happiest and positive people on earth get stressed out from time to time. Our lives are filled with demands that may put us under pressure, and for some people, stress really gets them. There are a lot of negative effects of stress in our body, which includes hair loss.

Physical and emotional stress can slow down our hair’s normal growth cycle. It pushes the hair follicles to stop producing new hair, and eventually, the present hair strands start to shed. Types of hair loss caused by chronic stress:

Read more: Health Issues in Your 30's You Shouldn't Ignore

Telogen Effluvium

People with chronic telogen effluvium will experience shedding of hair for more than 6 months. They won’t lose all the hair but hair thinning can be noticed. This occurs more often in women.

To explain this further, the hair cycle has 3 phases: growth phase (Anagen), Transitional phase (Catagen), and lastly the resting phase (Telogen). Stress causes changes in the hormone levels of the body and causes poor nutrition. This will push the hair follicles into this “resting” phase to stop producing new hair and, eventually, the hair will fall out especially during combing and washing.

The common triggers of Telogen Effluvium are from physical or psychological shocks: post-childbirth, major surgery, anxiety, crash diets, chronic illness, and drugs.

Alopecia Areata

This is one of the most common autoimmune disorder wherein hair falls out in a pattern of small patches in the size of a quarter. Alopecia areata may lead to complete loss of hair, or in the worst case; the entire body loses hair (alopecia universalis).

Alopecia areata causes white blood cells from the hair follicles to attack healthy cells. This causes the hair follicles to shrink and slow down in hair production. Although it is linked to being triggered by extreme stress, most research points out to genetics as the leading cause.

Trichotillomania

When people struggle with anxiety and negative thoughts they often get blinded of the value in life. In severe cases, a person can experience psychological inflexibility which relates to the impulse control disorder which involves hair pulling. This happens because of the disruption in the system between the nerve cells in the brain and the chemical messengers.

The habit of hair pulling may also be a way for some people to deal with an uncomfortable situation, tension, loneliness, stress, and frustration. The pain and the immediate feeling of release help discharge some stress energy. This then becomes a habit which eventually causes hair loss.

How to treat hair loss caused by stress?

It is not as hard to treat hair loss as it is to build healthy habits and live a better way to manage stress. All it needs is your dedication and effort to stay committed on these following stress-management techniques:

Hobbies

No one has ever gotten stressed out while doing something they love or are passionate about. Engaging in activities that you enjoy will increase your happiness hormones, which then lowers stress levels. This may be gardening, starting an art project, joining a book club, or doing some volunteer work.

Get moving

Exercise is, undeniably, one of the most effective ways to eliminate stress. It can help ease anxiety and depression which may lead to chronic stress. As you exercise, your brain releases endorphins, which are the “feel good” hormones of the body. Get up and get moving! Hit the gym, go dancing, run around your block or try some sports. As long as you keep your body moving, your brain chemicals boost your mood which helps you deal with stress better.

Meditation

This practice will allow you to keep your mind at ease and be present in the moment. Daily motivations can alter your brain’s neural pathways and improve your resilience from stress. This can be done in a simple way; sit quietly, close your eyes, and recite a brief yet encouraging phrase. Practicing some breathing exercises will also help you focus more on the present moment.

Balanced diet

This is as simple as making sure your body gets the sufficient nutrients it needs. And where can you get an abundant supply of these nutrients? In whole foods, of course! Always include fresh fruits, vegetable, fish, and a controlled amount of animal products in your diet. It is also essential to drink a lot of water to maintain your body’s optimum activity.

Medical treatment and procedures

It is best to consult a professional and ask for his or her expert opinion. A number of topical treatments, medications, and procedures are available. These options are effective even in extreme cases of hair loss. Regenera Activa is an advanced treatment that allows hair growth without all the side-effects and risks of hair transplant surgery. Learn more about this completely natural and safe hair loss treatment.

Bottom line

Manage your stress properly. Take steps to lower stress levels and keep them at bay by nurturing your physical and emotional health. Doing those will reduce the chances of shedding.

If you’re currently experiencing hair loss, address it with some stress-management techniques and stay consistent with it. Taking care of your overall health will be reflected in your crowning glory.
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Nutrisystem Before and After Blog - A Weight Loss Success Story

Debra (My Nutrisystem Success Story): Today, I made a decision to embark on the Nutrisystem diet plan. Before I actually start I intend to take a photo of myself in my existing form. Believe me, at 240 pounds I have far more weight on my body than I should have. I have placed on 100 extra pounds and in spite of disliking to take a photo of myself, I am going to do so. I am dressed in different clothes, which is an added large and short size. By the end of my Nutrisystem diet plan journey, I wish to be able to suit a tool sized swimwear. I anticipate my quest to take between 6 as well as 9 months.

I am taking a full-size photo of my front. I am likewise taking a picture of my butts as well as the tummy. Just so I recognize exactly what I looked like when I weighted all those 240 extra pounds. My legs require a bunch of work and the same choose my stomach. The reality is that every part of my body needs a great deal of job.

Nutrisystem Before and After: (Photo)

Before - After (Nutrisystem Success Result) 
Because I am one hundred pounds heavier than I was, I think my immediate objective is to lose those one hundred pounds. I am embarking on my trip right before my birthday as well as my wedding anniversary. Though it has actually taken me 3 years to put on all these added pounds, which implies that somehow I have been putting on thirty pounds a year. I assume the factor for the weight gain is taking drugs and also inadequate of sufficient workout.


This is day one of my trip and I am absolutely excited. I will be doing this weekly. I have my uncertainties regarding the Nutrisystem due to the fact that I have actually encountered several complaints about it. Anyhow I am placing myself available as well as though this is very frightening and also it is additionally not something that I really wish to do, I go to my worse and I really need to do something regarding my problem. I am going to describe my trip from an independent perspective.

I go to the end of my 4th week and also I will certainly be finishing my 5th week tomorrow. I am as assured visiting tell you how much weight I have lost as well as it is very impressive considering I have not really exercised all that much. Let's talk about my dimensions now. My dimensions were 48 busts, 47 and also a half midsection, hips were 52 inches and my upper legs remain at 29 and also my arms were 14 inches.


Now, after using Nutrisystem my bust is 40 and also my waist is 38, my hips are 49 and also a half from fifty-two. My thighs continue to be the same but my arms are a bit thinner at 13. My waist began at virtually 255. Currently, it is 229.6 and also it just took four weeks to lose quite a great deal of weight.


I have taken a lot more images of myself and also I am looking much slimmer. All the bulges are gone though my legs are still the same however I not have fat hanging around. I am still as well heavy to put on a two-piece and I do have to do some more exercising. However, I feel that a big distinction has been made. I enjoy every little thing regarding myself currently. I attempt brand-new points and also I have actually maintained my diet plan the very same. Today, I am leaving to purchase some more Nutrisystem with using Nutrisystem Coupon Codes and offers which help me a lot with the price.



Look out Some More Success Stories: Before - After Examples
1) ARYA FARZIN LOSES 200 POUNDS - A NUTRISYSTEM SUCCESS STORY


2) ERICA LOSE 110 POUNDS - A NUTRISYSTEM SUCCESS STORY


Meals That Keep You Satisfied with Effective Weight Loss

Well Balanced Nutrition

Follow a meal strategy that's high in healthy protein as well as fiber, as well as includes low-glycemic-- clever-- carbohydrates that help keep blood sugar level secure and reduce yearnings.

Regular Meals

Keep pleased as well as strong consuming every 2-3 hours. And also, mix in your preferred fresh foods throughout the day with assistance from our Grocery Guide.

Selection You Love

Select from over 150 great-tasting and healthy foods, including hassle-free ready-to-go alternatives and also our very popular icy foods.

Perfect Portions

Skip the checking and also the gauging! All our foods are portioned just right for weight loss-- so you'll drop weight without the job.

Right here's a peek at just what a day of losing weight with Nutrisystem could resemble:

Breakfast
Nutrisystem Cinnamon Roll

Mid-Morning Snack
Low-fat string as well as carrot sticks

Lunch
Nutrisystem Broccoli Cheese Melt

Mid-day Snack
Low-fat yogurt with fresh blueberries

Supper
Nutrisystem Spinach Stuffed Shells

Treat
Nutrisystem Delicious Chocolate Brownie Sundae

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Are you worried about your child’s weight? According to Healthdirect, many children and infants tend to look plump, so you likely have nothing to worry about. But as a parent, it’s hard to just wave away concern for your child, no matter how minor it might seem. One way you can determine if your worry should be taken more seriously is to check your child’s body mass index (BMI for short). This measurement tool divides a person’s weight in kilograms by the square of their height in meters, and the result will place a person within a certain percentile range. If your child happens to be in the 95th percentile or greater, then it is likely they are obese.

However, the BMI does not measure body fat directly, so for a professional appraisal of your child’s condition, consider consulting a physician.

Now, the physician may see your child as perfectly fit and healthy. And if so, that’s great! But if not, and your dreaded fear has become a reality, then here are a few tips to help your child deal with obesity.


Encourage Daily Activity

Children need at least an hour of physical activity every day. Without exercise, children are prone to a number of health risks. Some of these risks include the loss of muscle strength and endurance, weaker bones, and a poor immune system. But we know how tough it can be to avoid these problems, especially when your child has a preference for inactive hobbies, such as playing video games and watching cartoons. To make physical activity less of a chore to your child, break those 60 minutes of exercise into smaller parts throughout the day. And if you can turn it into a parent-child bonding time over bicycling, playing sports, or some other activity, you’re sure to find your child more enthusiastic about getting out and about.

Keep Your Family Meals Nutritious and Delicious

One of the easier ways you can help your child deal with obesity is through your mealtimes. With the correct amount of foods, such as protein, grains, fruits, and vegetables, your child will gain a number of benefits. Some of these include being better able to maintain a healthy weight, avoid the risk of chronic diseases, and boost your overall health.

You can encourage your child to eat healthier by acting as their role model. Children are quick learners and tend to develop habits from the actions they see their parents take. That means you should make sure that you both try to limit eating excessive sugary and fatty foods and focus on consuming water and healthy foods.

Develop a Plan with Your Physician

Even with the best of plans and intentions, you may find that your physical fitness plan is still not quite working out for your child. It may be time then to consult a physician for a different plan of attack. If your child is of 18 years or over, then they may be eligible for pharmaceutical assistance from an Orlistat prescription. In combination with a low-calorie, low-fat diet and exercise, this pharmaceutical can help your child from gaining the weight they struggled so hard to lose.

To make this assistance easier on your wallet, you might want to consider a resource like Rx Connected. This site can connect you to licensed international and Canadian pharmacies that will be able to offer you and your child a prescription that is more affordable than you might find elsewhere in the United States.

Throughout all this, you’re likely dealing with non-stop worry about your child. No parent wants their child to have anything but happy, healthy childhood. But keep in mind that your child is likely just as worried as you are. Their mental health is just as important as their physical health, so don’t forget to make your chosen fitness plan encouraging and positive as you two work towards a healthier life.
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